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Sweet Sugar Flowers 



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Sweet Sugar Flowers 

Written By: Julie Sloane 



f TOOLS: 



Aluminum foil (1) 

Flower making tools (1) 
Get the Wilton Floral Collection Flower 
Making Set ($22 at wilton. com) or buy 
individually: ball tool, small 5-petal 
flower cutters, gum paste foam former. 

Nonstick board (1) 

Try a plastic cutting board from 

tapplastics.com. 

Nonstick rolling pin (1) 

/ made mine out of a 6" acrylic rod from 

Tap Plastics. 

Paintbrush (1) 

Plastic bag (1) 

Plastic sleeve (1) 
for 3-ring binder. 

Wired) 



© PARTS: 

• Gum paste (1) 

You can buy the paste or make it. If you 
choose to make it you will need: 11b 
confectioner's sugar, less 1/2c, 2 egg 
whites, 3tsp vegetable shortening, 6tsp 
tylose (an edible thickening agent, 
available at cake shops or online). 

• Shortening and cornstarch (1) 

• Food coloring (1) 

• Petal dust (1) 

can be bought at specialty baking stores 
or at globalsugarart.com. 



SUMMARY 



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Sweet Sugar Flowers 



It's one of those wedding industry secrets: cake decorators charge a lot for sugar dough 
flowers, but in fact many aren't that difficult to make. Elaborate, realistic flowers do take skill 
and practice, but even a novice can elicit "You made that?!" reactions with simple blossoms 
that will last almost indefinitely if kept cool and dry. 

This sugar dough, known as gum paste, isn't necessarily delicious, but it is edible. More 
importantly, it can turn any plain cake or cupcake into a feast for the eyes. 



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Sweet Sugar Flowers 




Step 1 — Make your gum paste and knead a lump of gum paste until it's 
pliable. 



Lightly beat the egg whites with an 
electric or stand mixer. Add the 
powdered sugar and beat for 5 
minutes on medium speed. Add the 
shortening and mix for another 15 
seconds. Add the tylose and beat 
for a few seconds. The mixture will 
thicken rapidly, so be careful not to 
burn out the mixer's motor. 

Store gum paste in a plastic bag, 
and sealed inside an airtight 
container. Refrigerate and let rest 
overnight. The dough will last 
several weeks if refrigerated when 
not in use and can be frozen for a 
longer shelf life. 

Break off a lump of gum paste from 
the main ball and knead it with your 
hands until it's firm but stretchy. 
Blend in a small amount of 
shortening to condition it. 

To create colored gum paste, work 
in a tiny bit of gel food coloring as 
you knead. It's potent stuff and too 
much gel will make the dough 
sticky and unworkable. (For this 
reason, dark colors are hard to 
achieve.) 



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Sweet Sugar Flowers 









• On your nonstick board, roll out all 
or part of your conditioned gum 
paste as thin as possible. 

• Air is the enemy — it can 
dry the gum paste within 
minutes. Store what you aren't 
actively using in a plastic bag. If 
you're in a humid area and the gum 
paste becomes sticky, use 
cornstarch to dry it. 





Use the flower cutters to stamp out 
flower shapes. Push firmly to give 
each blossom a clean edge. Put 
the newly cut blossoms into your 
plastic sleeve to keep them from 
drying out. Put your scrap dough 
back in the bag to keep it moist. 



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Sweet Sugar Flowers 





• One at a time, put the blossoms 
onto the foam and thin them with 
the large end of the ball tool, using 
small, circular motions and light 
pressure. You want to thin them, 
particularly on the edges, but not 
distort the shape. Rolling the ball 
tool in the middle of the blossom 
will also give the blossom a slight 
cup shape. Mother Nature isn't 
uniform, so don't worry if your 
blossoms aren't either. 





As you complete each blossom, lay 
it on a crinkled piece of aluminum 
foil. This preserves the curves in 
the flowers while giving them all 
slight variations in shape. Within 24 
hours, the blossoms should be fully 
dry. 



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Sweet Sugar Flowers 





• Brush petal dust onto the 
blossom's center or its edges with 
a paintbrush, allowing for a 
gradation in color. 

• Petal dust is essentially 
ground, nontoxic chalk 
made for this purpose. 







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rJ 9M> 





Mix a drop of water with dark petal dust and use a floral wire to apply it in dots to the 
center of each blossom in clusters of 3 or 4 dots. Let the petal dust dry, and then you're 
ready to start decorating your baked goodies! 



This project first appeared in CRAFT Volume 10 . pages 103-105. 



This document was last generated on 201 2-1 1 -03 01 :02:1 8 AM. 



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